Client: Valley Childrens Medical Group
Location: Bakersfield, CA, United States
Completion date: 2018
Artwork budget: $330,000
This project is comprised of a 30' tall Giraffe, made of welded steel, and powder coated blue with white spots. It features a motorized kinetic head that nods up and down slowly. The massive footprint is nine feet by eleven feet, and the nose of the Giraffe at its highest point grazes the air just a few feet below the lofty atrium ceiling. The Giraffe is viewable from the ground floor atrium, the mezzanine level, the third floor offices, as well as the outside garden playground. The sculpture weighs approximately 8000 pounds.
The goal of integrating artwork into the design of a childrens health care facility is to delight the patients as they enter the facility, and lessen the anxieties of both parents and children as they navigate the process back to wellness. The giant Giraffe is the most outstanding of the exciting features in the atrium, including bubble tubes in the vast picture windows, and various large interactive video walls, situated among the snack kiosks and patient care desks. All these creative elements are collectively invaluable to experiencing the overall excellence in the building design and use.
The art consultants of this children’s specialty care clinic commissioned the artist to design, fabricate and install a Giraffe sculpture similar to those previously created by the artist. The scale of this sculpture is approximately 2 1/2 times larger than the largest Giraffe sculpture in the artist's current portfolio. Features such as the blue color, a central heart-shaped spot on the Giraffe, and a unique tail design, were chosen by the owners of the clinic. The artist engineered the motorized head, unlike the usual wind driven kinetic motion of his existing sculpture. All requests from the architects and owners were realized in the final sculpture, creating all the wonder and excitement in the visiting public desired by all parties. This project also created a new scale and technology in the artists range, so it remains a win-win collaborative process.
Fabricating the sculpture and having it all come together on schedule, and then getting it into the building, was an exciting challenge for the artist.